Hills Like White Elephants Questions and Answers
by Ernest Hemingway

Hills Like White Elephants book cover
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What was Hemingway's purpose in writing the story "Hills Like White Elephants?" (For an author's purpose essay.)  Perhaps a universal message/theme the author is trying to get across?

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Hemingway had at least two purposes in writing "Hills Like White Elephants." First, as in all of his writing, he reacted against the ornate writing style of his Victorian and Edwardian predecessors (authors of the pre-World War I era), a style which was characterized by rich and decorative descriptive passages. These authors had attempted to create a full world a reader could enter into and their fiction was similar to the rooms the Victorians so admired: stuffed to the full with bric-a-brac, throw pillows, tassels and ornaments inside houses. These houses also tended to be embellished on the outside with turrets and gingerbread. Hemingway went entirely in the opposite direction, embracing to the full "less is more," and like the modernist architects with their bare geometric buildings, pares away the pretty and the decorative.  In this story, he strips the prose down to its spare, bare-bones essentials, even cutting aways the "he...

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